TAT ASMI PRABHO – FIFTH MAHAVAKYA – MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM


TAT ASMI PRABHO – FIFTH MAHAVAKYA – MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM

TAT ASMI PRABHO – FIFTH MAHAVAKYA – MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. INDIAN TRADITION IGNORES EXISTENCE OF MAN WITH MATERIAL BODY IN WHICH THE EXPERIENCE OF CONSCIOUSNESS IS MANIFESTED.

In Indian tradition, the phenomenon of universe, world, and everything that exists is divided into three fundamental orders; 1. Matter, 2. Soul, and 3. God. To account for three distinct orders, Indian tradition applies three fundamental divisions or Dualism; 1. Animate – Inanimate, 2. Material – Spiritual, and 3. Natural – Supernatural. Any study of Life and Consciousness demands proper understanding of Material vs Spiritual Dualism.

The dimension called ‘Matter’ is easy to understand as matter occupies space, matter has mass, and matter has properties that can be measured or verified. Natural Sciences like Physics and Chemistry explain matter is constituted by Chemical Elements which can be known by their properties and consistent configuration called Atomic Numbers. The Fundamental Laws of Conservation of Mass and Energy describe that matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Chemical Elements have attributes such as indestructibility, imperishability, immutability, immortality, and can be said to be eternal or unborn. Some of these attributes of matter are attached to the second order called Soul. There is no surprise if Soul is described as unborn, eternal, indestructible, immortal, immutable, uncreated, and imperishable. There is association between Matter and Soul as they share same or similar attributes and their distinction becomes apparent when observing and experiencing their interactions. There will be a concern about mass, weight, volume, space, and similar physical quantities if Soul is explained as a material substance. At the same time, there is no need to explain Soul as an immaterial substance or entity which cannot be known or experienced. The order called Soul accounts for fundamental distinction between living and nonliving matter in which we can study the same physical or chemical Elements. The difference between sensible and insensible matter involves recognition of functional attributes such as Consciousness and Intelligence, which are cognitive functions. Living Matter is aware of something. What is this something which living things know about? Living things are essentially aware or conscious of the fact of their own living condition, at a given place, given time, and given external environmental conditions. In this context, Consciousness has to be defined as a biological or living function that is primarily concerned about knowing the fact of its living condition by a living entity. Since it is conscious, the living thing uses its implanted knowledge to obtain energy yielding molecules or matter from its external environment. Since this physiological function called ‘Nutrition’ involves use of stored information to perform a selective task for self-improvement or self- maintenance, it is described as intelligent operation. All living functions involve use of knowledge to perform guided, sequential, goal-oriented, purposeful actions often exploiting laws of physics and chemistry. In Indian tradition Soul is always identified with Knowledge(Jnana), and Chetana(Consciousness).

TAT ASMI PRABHO - FIFTH MAHAVAKYA - MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THE EXPERIENCE OF SALT CANNOT BE DERIVED FROM ITS CONSTITUENT ELEMENTS, SODIUM AND CHLORINE. STRUCTURAL COMPLEXITY IS IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE NATURE OR TATTVA OF MATERIAL SUBSTANCES.
TAT ASMI PRABHO – FIFTH MAHAVAKYA – MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THE EXPERIENCE OF SALT CANNOT BE DERIVED FROM ITS CONSTITUENT ELEMENTS, SODIUM AND CHLORINE. STRUCTURAL COMPLEXITY IS IMPORTANT TO RECOGNIZE NATURE OR TATTVA OF MATERIAL SUBSTANCES.

The terms ‘material’ and ‘spiritual’ are used to describe nature of things called material or spiritual. It is about characteristics not typically included in description of physical and chemical properties of Physical or Chemical Elements. When elements come together to interact and form chemical compounds, their nature changes, and the nature of those Elements cannot be discerned from studying nature of the Chemical Compound which is formulated by their chemical bonding. From taste of Salt, I cannot discover taste of Sodium or Chlorine. From tasting Water, I cannot discover nature of Hydrogen or Oxygen. The term ‘Spiritual’ is about that new nature or Tattva’ formulated by association, bonding, relationship, coming together, or partnership between entities. The term ‘spiritual’ can be used to describe the nature of relationship between energy demanding molecules of a living thing and energy yielding molecules found in its external environment. To experience taste of Salt or Water we need structural complexity termed as Compounds and structures like atoms and subatomic particles cannot by themselves contribute to that experience. Similarly, to observe or experience Consciousness, entities need structural complexity derived from participation of a variety of molecules and hence atoms and subatomic particles when acting alone are not capable of performing functions associated with Consciousness.

Virus(DNA or RNA molecule) represents a simplest living form that is conscious of its own existence, uses knowledge to perform intelligent operations while it exploits energy and matter from another living host. Virus has Soul or Spirit for it has formulated a spiritual relationship for its own benefit and to sustain its living condition or existence.

TAT ASMI PRABHO - FIFTH MAHAVAKYA - MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. SHANKARA'S "EKA SHLOKI" RECOGNIZES AND ACCOUNTS FOR MAN AS A LIVING ENTITY AND ACKNOWLEDGES GOD AS SUPREME BEING.
TAT ASMI PRABHO – FIFTH MAHAVAKYA – MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. SHANKARA’S “EKA SHLOKI” RECOGNIZES AND ACCOUNTS FOR MAN AS A LIVING ENTITY AND ACKNOWLEDGES GOD AS SUPREME BEING.

Indian tradition often makes distinction between human body and human Soul. The first is said to be perishable and the second is said to be imperishable. This distinction is not based upon Material vs Spiritual Dualism. In Indian concept, the physical form or morphological appearance is called perishable for it ignores fundamental material nature of Chemical Elements. Man’s physical appearance changes under the influence of time right from moment of conception. This changing Identity is possible for it is operated by an unchanging principle called Spirit or Soul. Upanishadic Statements or Aphorisms called Four Mahavakyas fail to account for existence of a living entity called Man for they ignore Material vs Spiritual Dualism. 

Rudranarasimham Rebbapragada
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-4162 USA
BHAVANAJAGAT.ORG

 
         
Bhavanajagat.orgBhavanajagat.org, Ann Arbor, MI. BhavanaJagat is a private organization devoted to the study of man’s status in Nature. 
 
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TAT ASMI PRABHO - FIFTH MAHAVAKYA - MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THERE ARE THREE FUNDAMENTAL ORDERS OR DIVISIONS, 1. GOD, 2. SOUL OR SPIRIT, AND 3. MATTER.
TAT ASMI PRABHO – FIFTH MAHAVAKYA – MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THERE ARE THREE FUNDAMENTAL ORDERS OR DIVISIONS, 1. GOD, 2. SOUL OR SPIRIT, AND 3. MATTER.
TAT ASMI PRABHO - FIFTH MAHAVAKYA - MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THE FOUR UPANISHADIC STATEMENTS FAIL TO ACCOUNT FOR MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THEY FAIL TO ACCOUNT FOR EXISTENCE OF A PHYSICAL LIVING ENTITY CALLED MAN.
TAT ASMI PRABHO – FIFTH MAHAVAKYA – MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THE FOUR UPANISHADIC STATEMENTS FAIL TO ACCOUNT FOR MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THEY FAIL TO ACCOUNT FOR EXISTENCE OF A PHYSICAL LIVING ENTITY CALLED MAN.
TAT ASMI PRABHO - FIFTH MAHAVAKYA - MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THIS APHORISM FAILS TO ACCOUNT FOR EXISTENCE OF A LIVING ENTITY CALLED MAN FOR IT IGNORES MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM.
TAT ASMI PRABHO – FIFTH MAHAVAKYA – MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THIS APHORISM FAILS TO ACCOUNT FOR EXISTENCE OF A LIVING ENTITY CALLED MAN FOR IT IGNORES MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM.
TAT ASMI PRABHO - FIFTH MAHAVAKYA - MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THIS APHORISM FAILS TO ACCOUNT FOR EXISTENCE OF LIVING ENTITY CALLED MAN FOR IT IGNORES MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM.
TAT ASMI PRABHO – FIFTH MAHAVAKYA – MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THIS APHORISM FAILS TO ACCOUNT FOR EXISTENCE OF LIVING ENTITY CALLED MAN FOR IT IGNORES MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM.
TAT ASMI PRABHO - FIFTH MAHAVAKYA - MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THIS APHORISM FAILS TO ACCOUNT FOR EXISTENCE OF A LIVING ENTITY CALLED MAN FOR IT IGNORES MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM.
TAT ASMI PRABHO – FIFTH MAHAVAKYA – MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THIS APHORISM FAILS TO ACCOUNT FOR EXISTENCE OF A LIVING ENTITY CALLED MAN FOR IT IGNORES MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM.
TAT ASMI PRABHO - FIFTH MAHAVAKYA - MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THIS APHORISM FAILS TO ACCOUNT FOR EXISTENCE OF LIVING ENTITY CALLED MAN FOR IT IGNORES MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM.
TAT ASMI PRABHO – FIFTH MAHAVAKYA – MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THIS APHORISM FAILS TO ACCOUNT FOR EXISTENCE OF LIVING ENTITY CALLED MAN FOR IT IGNORES MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM.
TAT ASMI PRABHO - FIFTH MAHAVAKYA - MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THESE UPANISHADIC APHORISMS FAIL TO ACCOUNT FOR EXISTENCE OF A LIVING ENTITY CALLED MAN FOR THEY IGNORE MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM.
TAT ASMI PRABHO – FIFTH MAHAVAKYA – MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM. THESE UPANISHADIC APHORISMS FAIL TO ACCOUNT FOR EXISTENCE OF A LIVING ENTITY CALLED MAN FOR THEY IGNORE MATERIAL vs SPIRITUAL DUALISM.

 

 

 

On Mon, Nov 9, 2015 at 12:42 PM, ‘Dr. Bhaskar C. Harinath’ via Sadhu-Sanga Under the holy association of Spd. B.M. Puri Maharaja, Ph.D. wrote:

I have been going through the various points of view by learned Professors and intellectuals. After going through the summary of the paper (Bhakti Niskama Shanta (2015) Life and Consciousness – The Vedantic View, Communicative & Integrative Biology, 8:5, e1085138 , http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19420889.2015.1085138), I still feel that with the progress in modern physical science we have not yet reached the evidence to contradict Vedantic concept of “Organic Wholism”.
Not believing in vitalism (divine life force), famous biochemist Lehninger proposed the theory of Molecular logic of the ‘Living State’ and the objective of biochemistry is to determine how the collections of inanimate molecules found in a living organism interact with each other to constitute, maintain and perpetuate the living state with the capacity for self-organization and self replication. We are not able to make much headway so far.
We had interesting experience in replicating nature. Our interest has been to grow microfilariae (filarial parasite (100 microns)) into infective stage (1500 microns) larvae in vitro. We could observe microfilariae growing to sausage stage (1st stage) within 3 days and further no more development. This is in contrast to the development of infective larvae from microfilariae in mosquitoes within 15 days. No laboratory could replicate the nature. Similarly many biochemical reactions are feasible by enzymes (isolated from living organisms) than by chemical pathways. With admiration & appreciation of Nature and in humility, human curiosity and exploration should continue for benefit of mankind. During my recent visit to United States, I was pleased to see the Robotic Vacuum cleaner with dust awareness sensor doing on-the-spot cleaning and when the job is done, going back to the wall plug for getting recharged. These are small benefits of scientific research helping in day to day life.

Prof. B.C. Harinath

Sevagram

From: Anirban Bandyopadhyay

Sent: Tuesday, 3 November 2015 8:37 PM
Subject: Re: [Sadhu Sanga] “…abiogenesis is an insult to the life force.”

There is no distinctive Science for emergent materialism, I disagree strongly with David. While I agree that the belief that everything down to atom has consciousness is a wrong view, I do not think anyone ever said that. Similarly, mathematical formulation of emergent materialism is nothing but “machine view” of consciousness, we simply add additional function arising from the conformational arrangement of participating systems. It is just the other side of the same coin. Therefore the argument that it should not be “machine view” but emergent view of consciousness is a logical falsehood.

Consciousness is not resolved yet, therefore,preaching as if it has been categorized and resolved is non-scientific and driven by a blind religious faith called “scientology”.

We should be careful when we give ultimate view on consciousness, we do not know clearly what is information in the brain or biological system as per say. We have not yet scientifically defined consciousness property, so as a scientist we are careful, in the name of science,endorsing personal definition should also be given carefully.

Anirban

On Tue, Nov 3, 2015 at 8:32 PM, David Schwartzman wrote:

I do not agree with the arguments being made below. Science and religion have different methodologies, the former is based on experiment combined with theoretical work, the scientific method, the latter on reaffirming a tradition written in sacred texts. My final point: panpsychism, the belief that all entities down to the atom (even quarks?) have consciousness, is just as reductionist as mechanical materialism, the machine model for everything in the universe. In contrast, emergent materialism is a metatheory of scientific knowledge. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” is a very simple way of expressing that the interaction of the parts, whether it be atoms in molecules, many molecules together, like in liquid water have properties such as surface tension which emerge from the interaction of the parts. Self-organization of matter gives rise to new levels of interaction of parts, stars, planets, cells, prokaryotes, eukaryotes, consciousness, societies. Thermodynamics of open systems helps understand the process of self-organization in the universe, the creation of new forms of organization by the export of entropy past the boundaries of the open system.

Good luck with your speculation and debates!

On Tue, Nov 3, 2015 at 5:54 AM, Sandeep Goel wrote:

What a brilliant an convincing reply by Dr. Shanta. I am sure Dr. Schwartzman will agree with this! Important points to be noted:
* Both materialistic and non-materialistic scientists are dependent on the ideas/grace to come to them from an unknown source. What is that source from which these new ideas come to the scientists by which they unravel the mysteries? This is a very important question that is not well understood in modern science. Vedāntic philosophy discusses this aspect in great details.

* Not only science is global but also it is unbiased. Therefore, science will not take the sides of either materialism or non-materialism. Science will follow the evidence wherever it may lead. Similarly, the Vedāntic concept of ‘Soul’ also creates the universal brotherhood (there is nothing like western soul or eastern soul).

If we are all brothers then why not find a common ground instead of engaged in endless fights between Science and Religion? Both Science and Religion are playing an important role in our society. Therefore, a harmony between Science and Religion will be a great achievement towards the upliftment of humanity.

– S.G.

On Mon, Nov 2, 2015 at 3:40 AM, Dr. Bhakti Niskama Shanta wrote:

Dear Prof. David Schwartzman

Thank you for making these important points and if we can understand properly and assimilate the essence of these conclusions from your points then it can help in establishing a lasting harmony between science and religion. I am summarizing the points that you made in the context of harmony between science and religion:
(1) Faith is an essential element in both materialism and non-materialism
(2) Neither materialistic nor non-materialistic scientists have all the answers. Like authentic scientific texts, bonafied religious traditions can only advise the ways to know the truth. To realize the truth one has to make sincere attempts. Both materialistic and non-materialistic scientists are dependent on the ideas/grace to come to them from an unknown source. What is that source from which these new ideas come to the scientists by which they unravel the mysteries? This is a very important question that is not well understood in modern science. Vedāntic philosophy discusses this aspect in great details.
(3) Not only science is global but also it is unbiased. Therefore, science will not take the sides of either materialism or non-materialism. Science will follow the evidence wherever it may lead. Similarly, the Vedāntic concept of ‘Soul’ also creates the universal brotherhood (there is nothing like western soul or eastern soul).
(4) You have told, “When we finally achieve contact with extraterrestrial intelligence then the test of commensurability of our knowledge with theirs is possible.” In the paper ‘Life and consciousness – The Vedāntic view’ it is explained:

“We can witness voluntary functions (the action that are apparently under the control of our mind) and involuntary functions in the living organisms. The things that we appear to control are due to our consciousness coming from our soul (ātman) and that which are not in our control (involuntary functions: complex cellular functions, heart beats, autonomous signals, and so on) are controlled by higher consciousness coming from Paramātma (super soul). Hence, Paramātma (source of infinite consciousness) is also known as the ground or sustainer of the ātman (finite consciousness).”

The topic under discussion “abiogenesis” is the best test of commensurability of our limited knowledge with Paramātma (super soul): “there will never be a Newton of the blade of grass, because human science will never be able to explain how a living being can originate from inanimate matter.”56

Sincerely,

B.N. Shanta

On Monday, 2 November 2015 1:55 AM, David Schwartzman wrote:
My short reply is that I have faith in the capacity of scientific research to unravel the mysteries of the universe.You have faith in your religious tradition, an ideology which by definition is complete, so all the answers are already provided by your sacred texts, just as is the case for believers in the literal truth of the Christian/Jewish bible.
Science is never complete and is the collective heritage of humanity. Scientific research is a collective process, so my individual faith in its capacity is continuously tested. And science is global, not Western.
When we finally achieve contact with extraterrestrial intelligence then the test of commensurability of our knowledge with theirs is possible.
On Sat, Oct 31, 2015 at 5:28 PM, Dr. Bhakti Niskama Shanta wrote:

Dear Prof. David Schwartzman

Why do you think that “Creationism is the real threat to global culture”?

As scientists, we do not create rivers, mountains, oceans, planets and so on. If you think that it is appropriate to give due credit and respect to those scientists who have created a few toys (like Airplanes, which fly for certain limited time) then the devotion of the theists is even more justified, where they want to glorify the original supreme sentient being (supreme scientist) behind the manifestation of gigantic planets, which are flying without any fuel from time immemorial.

Francis Bacon was one of the prominent personalities in natural philosophy and in the subject matter of scientific methodology during the shift from the Renaissance to the beginning of the modern era. For Bacon the value of power and utility is so immense that frequently truth, power and utility become identical concepts in his understanding. As Bourdeau stated:

“For Bacon we must subdue nature, penetrate its secrets and chain it to satisfy our desires. Man is the center of the world and the object of science is to dominate nature.” {P. Bourdeau (2004). The man-nature relationship and environmental ethics. J. Environmental Radioactivity, Vol. 72, 9-15}

In the past, nature was seen as a worshipable divine gift of God and after Bacon’s campaign all that has changed. Bourdeau further stated:

“… Now nature is threatened by man who has become detached from it. Technology has endowed humans with the power of a major geological agency, which may act on a continental or even planetary scale (e.g. acid rain, photochemical smog, radioactive contamination, stratospheric ozone depletion, climate change)… The relationship between man and nature must be reconsidered.”

No matter how grand a scientific venture may be, it certainly cannot capture the entire scope of reality. Modern science cannot control cosmos, suns, planets, seasons, and so on and so forth. Hence, science is forced to confine itself to an insignificant fraction of complete reality. As Sir Isaac Newton said, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.

Cultivating false pride (ahańkāra) is certainly not the objective of science. The real purpose of science is to develop genuine humility.

At times the scientific schemes are exceedingly fruitful and many concepts appear to be firmly established in science. However, as time progresses, and with the development of new information, the same science recognizes new phenomena, which often fail to accommodate the firmly established old concepts. In such situations a portion of the scientific world tries to powerfully, and sometimes emotionally, preserve their belief in the old concepts. However, the empirical observations compel science to embrace the truth in the face of all such antagonism. 21st century biology is witnessing a movement of this nature, where the empirical evidence is forcing many prominent scientists to reject the old, widely used, abiogenesis (chemical evolution) and Darwinism (evolution of bodies). Some biologists, engrossed in the old disposition of Darwinism and abiology, want to preserve it at any cost. In such attempts, often they cannot recognize the blinkers they enforce on themselves due to their idealistic obligations rather than empirical inevitabilities. However, we must recognize the fundamental strength of science as rightly stated by a News article:

“The fundamental strength of science is that it compels its practitioners to confront their own fallibility… Science is not always right – very far from it. What marks it out from other fields of human endeavor is that, because of its formalized humility, it’s always ready to correct itself when it makes a mistake.”

You told “Students deserve to learn real science rather be told that creationist stories are equally valid as science (e.g. the Biblical account, as in some southern states in the U.S.).”

Why do you think that only materialism is science? Moreover, the students are not properly informed about the true status of the big claims made by materialism on the name of science. Please give some attention to the Joseph A. Kuhn’s statement in his interesting paper ‘Dissecting Darwinism’:

“When the Texas State Board of Education voted to recognize the weaknesses of Darwinian evolution in explaining the origin of the species, it was a result of 3 full days of intense debate and scientific dispute. In 2011, when new textbooks were presented to the State Board of Education, 9 out of 10 failed to provide the mandated supplementary curricula, which would include both positive and negative aspects of evolution (44). Moreover, several of the textbooks continued to incorrectly promote the debunked Miller-Urey origin of life experiment, the long-discredited claims about nonfunctional appendix and tonsils, and the fraudulent embryo drawings from Ernst Haeckel. In essence, current biology students, aspiring medical students, and future scientists are not being taught the whole story. Rather, evidence suggests that they continue to receive incorrect and incomplete material that exaggerates the effect of random mutation and natural selection to account for DNA, the cell, or the transition from species to species.”

You told “The research program on the origin of life is not mechanistic, rather another example of emergent materialism in action. It isn’t about “inventing novel laws”, rather both an experimental and theoretical approach (using e.g., thermodynamics) working out the material/energetic basis for the emergence of protocells.”

Please enlighten us how the emergent materialism will justify the appearance of sentience from matter, which is unconscious or impersonal. We have the empirical evidence to believe that every cell comes only from pre-existing cell. What is the scientific basis to justify your belief “The researchers in question haven’t claimed they have produced such protocells, YET. I fully expect that the experimental approach will succeed, sooner than many think.” ?

Kindly explain how the experimental and theoretical approach that you have stated will provide the answers to the two simple questions that I have asked before:
(1) What is the minimum number of parts that are essential for a living organism to survive?
(2) By what mechanism do these parts get assembled together?

You further told “The empirical evidence points to the origin of life early in Earth history, likely soon after the late heavy bombardment, some 4 to 4.3 billion years.”

What are the scientific credentials to believe those numbers “4 to 4.3 billion years”? Do you have any fossil data for last universal common ancestor?

You also told “I agree with Mayr, but again emergent/dialectical materialism is not equivalent to mechanical materialism, as Fred Engels pointed out in the 19th century. Further quoting from religious texts proves nothing. Why not quote from the more prophetic texts of ancient Indian materialists?”

Just changing the name from ‘mechanical materialism’ to ’emergent/dialectical materialism’ also proves nothing. By the way, are you aware of any prophetic texts of ancient Indian materialists?

Finally you told “You can’t have your scientific cake and eat it too believing non-materialism is vindicated.”

Unlike western civilization (rooted in science-religion conflicts), in Vedāntic tradition one can be a theist and yet he can be very scientific in his/her approach. You might have heard about yoga. Yoga means to establish the connection with unitary Supreme Cognizant Being. The central tenet of Vedānta (also known as Vedānta-sūtra) is that everything is dependent upon an original sentient/conscious foundation or self-knowing absolute truth. The first aphorism of Vedānta-sūtra states that under the guidance of a spiritually realized being, we must inquire into our true nature as spirit (athāto brahma jijñāsā). The second aphorism of Vedānta-sūtra provides the initial indication of how to begin this inquiry (janmādy asya yatah). Janma means birth, asya refers to everything (entire cosmos which includes both matter and life) and yatah means ‘from whom’. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is considered as a natural supplementary commentary on the Vedānta-sūtra. The first verse of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam elaborated the commentary of the second aphorism of Vedānta-sūtra (janmādy yato ńvayād itarataś cārthesv abhijñah svarāt). “Janmādy asya yatah” – the origin of everything is “abhijñah svarāt” – the unitary Supreme Cognizant Being. Therefore, to begin the inquiry into our true nature, we must first inquire into the original source of everything. Vedāntic explanation that unitary Supreme Cognizant Being is the source of everything is founded on two scientifically verifiable axiomatic facts: (1) Life comes from Life, and (2) Matter comes from Life. Applying reason and experience, anyone can verify the teachings of Vedānta.

Therefore, as a follower of Vedānta one must scientifically realize how the unitary Supreme Cognizant Being is the original source of everything and thus overcoming the desire of self glorification one can use his/her scientific endeavor to glorify the Supreme Absolute.

Sincerely,
B.N. Shanta

On Saturday, 31 October 2015 11:34 PM, David Schwartzman wrote:
Dear Dr. Shanta,

Thanks for your thoughtful response. Please see my comments below in your text.
On Sat, Oct 31, 2015 at 11:18 AM, Dr. Bhakti Niskama Shanta wrote:

Dear Prof. David Schwartzman

We also respect your belief on materialism, but your statement “Creationism and supernaturalism are by definition inconsistent with science. Only emergent materialism is consistent with the Theory and practice of science research” seems to be inappropriate. It is very sad to see that such an attitude (the historical conflicts between science and religion in western culture are intrinsic to the incompatibility between science practice/research and truth) still continues to badly influence many scientists and academicians around the world. It is extremely harmful to politicize and manipulate science for the mere political gains by using legal or economic pressure by government, business, or advocacy groups. Against the true goal of science, it also adversely influences the academic and scientific freedom. Manipulating public policy by campaigns to endorse the biased interests against scientific evidence is an attempt towards complete demolition of real essence of science. Our humble appeal is that for the good of human civilization everyone should realize that the real purpose of science is to encourage scientific research for the benefit of Mankind, and to follow the evidence wherever it may lead.

Creationism is the real threat to global culture rather than the historical conflicts between science and religion which were imperative to make scientific research possible, continually breaking the barriers put up by vitalism, e.g., the revolutionary Theories of Darwin and Oparin. Students deserve to learn real science rather be told that creationist stories are equally valid as science (e.g. the Biblical account, as in some southern states in the U.S.). Atheists are subject to public ridicule and persecution even in the U.S., and the situation is much worse in other countries where religious dogma is used to legitimate torture and murder of non-believers (e.g., recent examples in Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh). All of this of course does not justify State Terrorism in the name of democracy or any secular ideology, nor any discrimination against religious believers. The separation of church and state is essential for any real democracy, equality between believers and non-believers. And of course unity regardless of one’s religious belief is imperative to bringing the other world that is possible into reality, e.g., preventing catastrophic climate change while there is still time.

You have also mentioned that “Abiogenesis is now a fertile research program with the labs of Nick Lane and Mike Russell standing out as cutting edge.” Both Nick Lane and Mike Russell think that hydrothermal vent will be the answer to abiogenesis. I would like to bring your attention to the article ‘Is It Time To Throw Out ‘Primordial Soup’ Theory?’ published in NPR, where it is stated:

Is the “primordial soup” theory — the idea that life emerged from a prebiotic broth — past its expiration date?

Biochemist Nick Lane thinks so.

The article further states:

Instead of atmospheric gases and lightning, Lane’s team proposes that deep-sea, alkaline hydrothermal vents powered life’s predecessors.

At these vents, warm fluids percolate up through the ocean floor. When they react to ocean water, they form tiny, inorganic cells. Lane says these cells produce energy the same way that living cells do today: by harnessing chemical gradients across a membrane.

By replacing primordial soup with hydrothermal vent hypothesis will not solve the problem of materialism. We cannot claim that a system is alive just because it produces energy. In living organism, the unifying principle is sentience and how a mere mechanical or chemical manipulation can produce sentience is the main question that abiogenesis should answer. On this topic you can read one of our articles ‘Sorry, Darwin: – Chemistry Never Made The Transition To Biology’ which was presented as an invited talk at 100th Indian Science Congress and also in several universities and colleges. On the name of biology, following a reductionistic ideology, biologists in general try to invent novel laws using either a top-down or a bottom-up approach. However, as it is mentioned in the paper ‘Life and consciousness – The Vedāntic view’:

By metaphorically assuming an organism as a machine, biologists try to come to terms with many of its properties and features. Following this approach, biologists have only made an attempt to discover the physical properties and chemical processes of different biomolecules present within the body of a living organism. Such mechanical investigations of living organisms have always failed to provide any successful mechanical explanations of living organisms. Therefore, such a reductionistic analysis is just a pretension to study life, but in actuality it only deals with the study of dead matter (abiology).

The research program on the origin of life is not mechanistic, rather another example of emergent materialism in action. It isn’t about “inventing novel laws”, rather both an experimental and theoretical approach (using e.g., thermodynamics) working out the material/energetic basis for the emergence of protocells. The researchers in question haven’t claimed they have produced such protocells, YET. I fully expect that the experimental approach will succeed, sooner than many think.

You told “Artificial consciousness will be come sooner than you think, but perhaps not as fast as Ray Kurzweil has argued.” These are only faith based statements in support of materialism without any actual evidence to support the same. Empirical evidence only shows that “Life comes from Life – Biogenesis” or “Every Sentient System comes from a preexisting Sentient System”.

The empirical evidence points to the origin of life early in Earth history, likely soon after the late heavy bombardment, some 4 to 4.3 billion years.

As it is stated in the paper ‘Life and consciousness – The Vedāntic view’:

Kant explained, “one wheel in the watch does not produce another, and still less does one watch produce other watches.”55 In a living organism, the complex biomolecules are not just there for the sake of each other, but they also produce each other, maintain each other, and are dedicating units of an organic whole. Therefore, unlike machines, the generation, properties, and functions of the parts of an organism cannot be understood independently from the organism as a whole. The empirical evidence in frontier biology also confirms Immanuel Kant’s statement: “there will never be a Newton of the blade of grass, because human science will never be able to explain how a living being can originate from inanimate matter.”56 For confirmation, in his book This is Biology, 20th century’s leading evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr wrote:

“It is a little difficult to understand why the machine concept of organism could have had such long lasting popularity. After all, no machine has ever built itself, replicated itself, programmed itself, or been able to procure its own energy. The similarity between an organism and a machine is exceedingly superficial.”57

I agree with Mayr, but again emergent/dialectical materialism is not equivalent to mechanical materialism, as Fred Engels pointed out in the 19th century. Further quoting from religious texts proves nothing. Why not quote from the more prophetic texts of ancient Indian materialists?

Your statement “Vitalism has failed time and time again when posed as insurmountable obstacles to scientific knowledge” is true. Metaphorically some naturalists believed that, as an invisible gravitational force controls the motion of planets and stars, similarly, the movements and functions of a living organism are controlled by an invisible force (Lebenskraft or vis vitalis). Naturalists believing such a view are called vitalists and their metaphorical dependency on mechanical explanation of reality is the real cause of the downfall of vitalism. Scientists can explain the physics of motion of inanimate objects by laws of physics. However, a living organism has a ‘conscious self’, which is endowed with ‘free will’ or ‘self-determination’. Therefore, it is necessary to investigate, whether animated systems are based on certain additional principles that are beyond the domain of natural laws of the physics and there is a genuine need for a restructuring of the conceptual science of ‘animated systems’ – a non-materialistic spiritual biology.

This formulation is a contradiction in itself, and not a dialectical contradiction. If there are additional principles that can be demonstrated by scientific research, then scientific knowledge is enriched, expanding the natural laws of physics, chemistry etc. A non-materialist spirit, an example of “supernaturalism” is by definition beyond the scope of scientific research, hence based purely on religious speculation. You can’t have your scientific cake and eat it too believing non-materialism is vindicated.

Sincerely,

B.N. Shanta

On Friday, 30 October 2015 11:25 PM, David Schwartzman wrote:
I don’t know why I was put on this discussion list, but here are my two cents, with full respect for believers in the supernatural:Creationism and supernaturalism are by definition inconsistent with science. Only emergent materialism is consistent with the Theory and practice of science research. Abiogenesis is now a fertile research program with the labs of Nick Lane and Mike Russell standing out as cutting edge. Consciousness, with its convergent emergence in both mammals and birds (dolphins, elephants, the great apes and magpies pass the mirror test of self-recognition along with H. sapiens) likewise has a fertile research program. Artificial consciousness will be come sooner than you think, but perhaps not as fast as Ray Kurzweil has argued. Vitalism has failed time and time again when posed as insurmountable obstacles to scientific knowledge.

David Schwartzman
Professor Emeritus
Department of Biology
Howard University
Washington DC 20059

—-Messaggio originale—-
Data: 28/10/2015 16.02Ogg: Re: R: Re: [Sadhu Sanga] “…abiogenesis is an insult to the life force.”

I am not making this up.

As this email popped into my mailbox 30 minutes ago, my 3 year-old daughter called me over to her iPad and screamed PUPAE!

She then showed me a Video, which described research at the Georgetown University, wherein the brain neurons of a caterpillar were preserved intact, and throughout metamorphosis resulted in DNA conservation and a neurotransmitter / protein elaboration pair that was identical to that found in human hippocampus mid to long-term memory neurons. The DNA snps in the subsequent brains of the Monarch butterfly gave them memory of exactly which Milk-Weed Plant species… elaborating in addition, the neurotransmitters…identical to humans that conserve memory of certain smells…they needed to find, so that the metamorphosis cycle continues.

The research was part of a project that has proven that Caterpillars and Butterflies can ‘remember’ sentient affective and effector memory-reaction needs, because they possess (some of) the same neuronal mechanisms as do we.

I thought that was pretty interesting, and I didn’t know this. And, I happen to have a PhD in Comparative Animal Neurophysiology, and as an MD I practice Forensic Neurology.

So, Sergio and my 3-year-old Katja Arielle have taught this guy something magical, mysterious, and wonderful. And, a needed stake in the heart of my Hubris.

I also do not believe the timing was disconnected.

Thank you Sergio Canaveral, Spd. B.M. Puri Maharaja, Ph.D. whoever you are: I certainly will not mark your email address as Junk mail…to the contrary I will search out who you all are to discover and what else you may have to teach, that I need to learn.

And, Thank you Sergio and Katja.

Christopher C. Green, MD PhD FAAFS

Chairman, Med:For, Inc

Forensic & Translational Medicine
Assistant Dean / Asia Pacific

Wayne State School of Medicine
Professor, Neuroimaging – MRI
Department of Diagnostic Radiology
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences
Harper University Hospital
Detroit Medical Center

Institute for Brain Imaging
Chinese Academy of Sciences Lifetime Associate
National Research Council
National Academy of Sciences

—-Messaggio originale—-

Data: 28/10/2015 15.05

Ogg: Re: [Sadhu Sanga] “…abiogenesis is an insult to the life force.”

The universe is consciousness
Biological organisms are species of consciousness
Deepak Chopra
2013 Costa Del Mar Road
Carlsbad, CA 92009

On Oct 27, 2015, at 10:45 PM, Anthony wrote:

Does everything that has a life force have a soul? (seriously, nobody’s ever explained that to me)

…and if not, where does one draw the line? is there a soul in the mosquito drinking my blood? in the tapeworm? in the world’s largest underground fungus?

thank you.

Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2015 22:25:58 +0000
Subject: Re: [Sadhu Sanga] “…abiogenesis is an insult to the life force.”

 

Gary:

It is amazing that mankind supposedlyevolved over a period of about 10,000 years. The Greeks then invented the presence of a soul within mankind.

What surprises me is if the early man, which was closer to being an ape, did not have a soul. Where and how did mankind find its soul?

To my perception, animals also must have souls. Look at the previous comment here that when you have a body with a certain condition may die but was recently alive at some time, only differed for these two situations by a life force. Could this be that soul and could not the same logic follow the issue that animals too also have souls?

Descartes never had the pain of my three animals as well as their different and distinct personalities…

Paul Murad
Morningstar Applied Physics, LLC
www.morningstarap.com
pm

From: Gary Francione

Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 8:35 AM
Subject: Re: [Sadhu Sanga] “…abiogenesis is an insult to the life force.”
Actually, according to Descartes, the dog cannot feel happiness because the dog has no consciousness. Unlike most others, who recognized that nonhumans were conscious but claimed they were not self-aware, and therefore, were cognitively inferior to humans, Descartes at least appears to have rejected nonhuman consciousness at all. He really did appear to believe (although this not entirely clear because he contradicts himself in certain passages) that animals were automatons or machines.

Those of us who are not vegan embrace the idea that it is morally acceptable to consume or wear animals because, although sentient (and conscious), nonhumans are not self-conscious and, therefore, have no interest in continuing to live. They exist in an “eternal present” (to use Singer’s expression) and killing them is not a problem per se; as long as we minimize suffering, and act “humanely,” we are acting morally.

Putting aside that we do not treat animals “humanely” (whatever that word means) that position, articulated by Bentham and others in the 19th century and continued today by Singer and others, begs the question about whether human self-awareness is the only sort of self-awareness that is relevant. In my work, I have argued that to be sentient is to be self-aware and that one can be self-aware even if one lives in an “eternal present.”

Gary L. Francione
Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of Law
& Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law and Philosophy
Rutgers University School of Law
123 Washington Street
Newark, New Jersey 07102

 

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